The Asian Research Library has opened its doors

1. Opening of the Asian Research Library

The Asian Research Library, whose development U-PARL has been supporting from the 2014 school year, was opened on October 1, 2020. 

The Asian Research Library

The open-stack floor of the Asian Research Library is located on the fourth floor of the Main Building of the General Library, which is the central library of the University of Tokyo Hongo Campus.  

 Regarding the materials currently accessible at the fourth floor of the General Library Main Building, with some exceptions, they are available for borrowing for UTokyo members (borrowing conditions: up to 10 items for 30 days). For details on how to use the library’s services, refer to the Asian Research Library Website. 

 2. U-PARL’s support efforts toward opening of the Asian Research Library

 Up to now, U-PARL has been actively supporting development of the Asian Research Library. Below are the main activities carried out. 

 (1) Designing a Floor Plan and System 

Resources housed in the Asian Research Library are basically arranged by the geographical area they relate to. Geographical areas are broadly classified into the six major categories of “1 Asia,” “2 East Asia,” “Southeast Asia,” “4 South Asia,” “5 Central Eurasia,” and “6 West Asia,” which allows to shelve the library resources in a way systematically representing the whole compendium of knowledge throughout the Asian continent. 

Bookshelves arranged by geographical area (next to each other from “East Asia” to “West Asia”) 

When designing the floor plan and classification method, the focus was placed on such questions as how resources on Japan should be positioned within the Asian Research Library, how frameworks for each geographical area should be determined in view of recent research trends, and what the best desired floor plan and classification method to fit both staff and users’ requirements should be like. 

Low bookshelves

Bookshelves arranged by geographical area 









As for the classification method, in the course of more than two years of deliberate consultations held by the U-PARL staff and University of Tokyo Library System personnel, the Asian Research Library Classification System was compiled, and the open-stack materials in the Asian Research Library are to be shelved and arranged in accordance with this original classification system specially developed for the new library.  

 Also, as for the floor plan, such issues as the need for a space to hold seminars and various events and balance between the number of items in the open-stack area and the number of the reading seats were taken into consideration. On the open-stack materials allocation method that evolved from the discussions, refer to the Asian Research Library’s layout map. 

Reading seats 

Lecture room







Library search terminal










(2) Collection Development 

U-PARL has been developing the Asian Research Library’s collection through the three approaches of purchasing new materials, accepting donated materials, and integrating materials from the university’s other libraries and reading rooms. Among the donated materials, there exist large collections, including private collections, that bear the names of the donators or donating organizations. As of now, we have accepted the following donated large collections, which will be made available in succession, once their organization and arrangement are complete. 

Collection of Literacy Education Materials Donated by the Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU)
The Yumio SAKURAI Collection
The Akira SUEHIRO Collection
The Motoo FURUTA Collection
The Noboru KARASHIMA Collection
The Tsuyoshi NARA Collection 

Open-stack floor 

Reading tables








We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to all those who extended their support and cooperation for U-PARL’s efforts towards development of the Asian Research Library and ask for continued support for activities carried out by U-PARL and the Asian Research Library. 

(October 1, 2020)